Civilians killed in Nuba mountains

17 July 2000 (IRIN)

Five people collecting relief items were killed in an ambush by government forces, in Heiban County, Nuba Mountains, at the end of June, humanitarian sources told IRIN. Fear of ambush has since prevented displaced civilians from freely collecting vital relief items, provided by church groups and international NGOs.

Since the ambush, displaced civilians fear the long trek to collect vital supplies of tools, seeds, plastic sheeting, and cooking implements, said the source. The Western Jebels (west of Kadugli) have been effectively cut off from the eastern Nuba mountain range, the only area with an available air strip. Pockets of displaced civilians have been surviving in the mountains since government attacks in March on the SPLA-held areas of Tabanya and Toro, Burum County, Nuba Mountains.

The harvesting of sorghum was halted and preparation of land disrupted. This has "serious implications" for both the displaced people and for other villages, said the source, as Buram County is traditionally a surplus area for grain.